Japanese prosecutors asked the Tokyo District Court on Friday to give two Americans accused of helping former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan in 2019 prison sentences of at least two years.

Michael Taylor, a 60-year-old former Green Beret, and his son Peter, 28, pleaded guilty at their first court hearing in June, and the prosecutors are pushing for jail terms of two years and 10 months for the former and two years and six months for the latter.

In seeking the prison terms, the prosecutors said the criminal liability of the two was "grave," as they took part in insulting and diminishing the Japanese judiciary. Ghosn's trial was put on hold due to his escape.

Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn speaks in a pool interview with Japanese media organizations in Beirut on Jan. 10, 2020. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The Taylors apologized in their closing remarks, while their defense team called for suspended sentences, taking into account their lengthy detention, including in the United States.

They were arrested in Massachusetts last year by U.S. authorities at Japanese prosecutors' request and had fought extradition in the U.S. courts, but the U.S. Supreme Court turned down their appeal in February. They were arrested when extradited to Japan from the United States in March and indicted the same month.

The court is scheduled to hand down its rulings on July 19.

According to the indictment, the two helped Ghosn, 67, flee from his residence in Tokyo's Minato Ward to a hotel in the capital and then another in Osaka Prefecture on Dec. 29, 2019, before making their way to Kansai International Airport.

They then hid Ghosn in a box, passed through airport security and flew him aboard a private jet to Turkey despite knowing that the former auto titan was prohibited from traveling abroad under his bail conditions.

Ghosn then flew to Lebanon, one of three countries of which he is a national and which does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.

The prosecutors said the Taylors were motivated by monetary gain as after covering escape-related costs, such as preparing the private jet, they were able to use the remainder of the funds supplied by Ghosn for company expenses.

The two received around $860,000 prior to the escape and $500,000 worth of cryptocurrency after Ghosn successfully fled Japan, according to the prosecutors.

The former Nissan chairman, who was arrested in 2018, faces charges of underreporting his remuneration by millions of yen for years and misusing the automaker's funds. He has denied all charges, insisting he is the victim of a coup staged by Nissan executives.

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